Botanists work within many specialties, both in the field and in the laboratory. They typically need a minimum of a bachelor's degree, and some positions require a doctoral degree. Read on to learn more about the field of botany.

Inside Botany

People who love the outdoors and can spend hours meticulously identifying plants may be well-suited to botany field research positions. Students who prefer to conduct tests and experiments on plants might prefer a laboratory position. A career in botany may involve work in the areas of agronomy, biochemistry, food science technology, forestry or horticulture.

Education Information

Degrees related to botany are offered at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. Botanists generally need at least a bachelor's degree in botany or biology. Depending on their size, some colleges and universities offer botany as a subfield within biology departments, while other schools house separate botany departments. Most students choose a specialty within the field, especially at the graduate level. Areas of specialization include conservation, systematics, structural botany, taxonomy, ecology and mycology. Review the articles shown below for more details about relevant training programs.

Distance Learning Options

The best online options for aspiring botanists include courses and degree programs in biology. Both for-credit and not-for-credit courses are available. Biology degree programs can be completed partly or fully online and are most common at the master's level. Online botany programs, as well as online undergraduate and doctorate programs in biology, are not as common. The articles below offer more details about online learning programs.

Required Skills

Students need a strong foundation in the physical and life sciences. They should also be knowledgeable in the fields of computer science, statistics and mathematics.

Career Options

A bachelor's or master's degree is required for a job as research technician, product developer or teacher. A doctorate is necessary for professorships and independent research positions. Most botanists find employment in federal and state agencies, scientific research institutions or pharmaceutical companies. Visit the following articles to find other career tracks available to qualified botanists:

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Employment of wildlife biologists, including botanists, was anticipated to increase slowly at 5 percent for the 2012-2022 period, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( found that most botanists made between $23,672 and $85,005, with a median annual salary of $50,189, as of March 2014.

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